Finance Minister calls for increased investment to boost employment and productivity in Nepal

Kathmandu: In a public event on Friday, Finance Minister Barshaman Pun underscored the need for Nepal to focus on sectors aimed at creating employment and enhancing productivity, urging increased investment in collaboration with development partners.

He noted Nepal’s favorable performance compared to other countries in South Asia but highlighted the pressing need for job creation due to youth migration caused by unemployment within the country. Emphasizing the need for high employment in the primary sector and encouraging skilled youth to contribute to the workforce, he stressed the importance of fostering entrepreneurship and productivity within the nation.

Additionally, he appealed to development partners to increase their support for enhancing economic stability and sustaining development initiatives. The Finance Minister outlined the government’s priorities in streamlining economic activities, expressing optimism for economic revitalization by the end of the current fiscal year.

He also highlighted the role of institutions like the World Bank in providing vital economic forecasts and fostering collaboration in various sectors to drive sustainable growth. Former Finance Minister Dr. Yuvaraj Khatiwada echoed the sentiment, acknowledging the significant economic growth projections by the World Bank for Nepal.

However, he cautioned against over-reliance on sectors like energy and industrial production for sustained growth. He emphasized the importance of diversifying exports to drive economic growth and stability. The program also featured insights from the World Bank’s Chief Economist for South Asia, who noted a rapid increase in development rates since March 2022 and highlighted Nepal’s potential as a rapidly developing region, primarily due to India’s influence in the area.

According to the Chief Economist, central banks have consistently raised policy rates since the 1970s to bolster their stringent monetary policies.